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11 ways to save after retirement

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2. Rent before you buy. Looking to try out a new lifestyle, such as living out of an RV or moving to a fishing cabin in the north woods? Try it before you buy it.

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"Sure you enjoyed your vacation in the RV, but do you really want to live in it?" says Farrell.

Instead, negotiate to try it out for six months, and see how it wears on you. "You're not sinking your hard-earned savings into a new lifestyle," says Farrell. "You're leaving your options open."

3. Eliminate extra fees and charges. This is a good time to slowly look over the fine print on your finances. Is your bank charging outrageous service fees? Shop other banks or credit unions that are willing to offer you the same options for free.

4. Work part time. If you enjoy your job, or the job you're considering, this is a great move. Any money you're earning isn't coming out of your 401(k), which means you're actually saving cash for later. But run the numbers before you go back to work. And if you don't do your own taxes every year -- this might be a good time to hire a pro to tally it up for you, according to Farrell.

If you start collecting Social Security between 62 and your "year of normal retirement" -- a benchmark set by the Social Security Administration that varies with your birth year -- watch your income. If your job paid you more than $12,480 in 2006, you could lose a sizable chunk of your Social Security benefits. (One dollar for every $2 you bring in over $12,480). For 2007, the amount increases to $12,960. Either keep your earnings below that threshold or defer Social Security until later in retirement, when you cut back on your earned income.

And don't forget to weigh the intangibles. If work is drudgery, that's one thing, but if you crave interaction with other people and want to keep your professional skills sharp, it may be worth a little extra in taxes.

5. Claim that senior discount. "Use every discount you can, including that AARP membership," Farrell says.

He has one family friend who took this technique a step further -- much to his financial benefit. Newly retired, the man went to the independent businesses he'd patronized for decades, announced he was now retired and asked the owners what kind of a discount deal they could offer.

"It's no different than the deals he [negotiated] for years in his working life," Farrell says.

Too often, he adds, retirees don't look at it that way. They need to realize that they are a very valuable commodity, especially for independent businesses. They tend to be extremely loyal, have disposable income and visit frequently. In return for regular patronage, some gas stations, diners, dry cleaners and the like are willing to offer them perks to keep their business, according to Farrell.

 
 
Next: "Bank CDs won't give you much of a return on your investment ... "
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 RESOURCES
5 ways to make savings last
Annuitizing your assets
Immediate annuities
 TOP RETIREMENT STORIES
Fame & Fortune: Monica Seles
10-year Treasury-buyer beware
9 cash-saving strategies that pay big bucks
 

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